Orioles tie franchise-best start behind four hits from Machado
— Manny Machado did all he could to ensure the Baltimore Orioles their best start to a season in nearly half a century.
The Orioles defeated the Tampa Bay Rays 5-3 in front of 23,101 fans that braved the chilly temperatures in the mid40s Sunday at Orioles Park at Camden Yards. Baltimore tied a franchise record by winning its first five games of a season, which was last accomplished in 1970.
Machado went 4-4 at the plate,
including a two-run home run to left field during a four-run second inning.
“Let’s keep this ball rolling, keep playing as a team and doing what we’re doing, moving guys over. We’re doing the little things, which is going to separate us,” the All-Star third baseman said. “It’s great to start off the beginning of the year pretty good. We’re winning at home, so we just got to keep playing, don’t think about the outcome. It’s still early, you don’t win a championship in April.”
The Orioles cracked the scoreboard in the bottom of the second when second baseman Jonathon Schoop doubled to the left-field corner and scored Pedro Alvarez all the way from first. Schoop, who extended his hitting streak to 11 games, was driven in two batters later on a sacrifice fly by Joey Rickard. Machado followed with his two-run blast that scored Hyun Soo Kim.
Kim became the first Koreanborn player to appear for Baltimore as he made his Major League debut. He recorded two hits, though neither left the infield.
Kim called it “a nervous day” through the help of his translator.
“Finally. I know he’s been waiting for this moment for a long time,” Machado said of Kim. “I told him before the game started, ‘Just go out there and have fun, do what you do. This is the same game as you played in Korea. Keep doing the things you’ve been doing, don’t try to put pressure on yourself, just do out there and enjoy this moment.’”
Machado led the bottom of the eighth inning with a double to the left-center gap, then reached home on a wild pitch for the Orioles’ fifth run.
Rickard, the team’s Opening Day left fielder who played in center Sunday for injured regular Adam Jones, singled to lead off the first inning. He has now hit safely in his first five Major League games.
Right-hander Vance Worley made his Orioles debut and his first start since last July as a member of the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed seven hits and three earned runs over four and twothirds innings, striking out five and walking one.
“I know it’s been a while, but these types of opportunities, you’ve just got to go until you can’t,” Worley said. “It’s good to have the run support. You feel a little bit more comfortable out there. You’re not walking on egg shells trying to make the perfect pitch. You can allow your defense to work behind you and not have to be perfect.”
Brad Brach pitched the next one and one-third innings to earn the win. It was his fifth-consectutive hitless appearance dating back to last October.
Reliever Zach Britton put down the Rays in order in the top of the ninth to earn his second save of the season and 75th of his career, moving him into seventh place on Baltimore’s all-time saves list.
The Orioles now face a sevengame road trip after the seasonopening home stand, but manager Buck Showalter praised the work of his starting rotation during the early win streak.
“We’ve got some guys trying to take advantage of the opportunity … They gave us a chance to win all five games. If they do that, we’ll have some fun this summer,” he said. “I just feel good to get through the home stand and get everybody on the field and on the mound and get their motors started.”
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